Diseases Transmitted by Mosquitoes
Mosquitoes are among the most pervasive and most detested pests. Aside from their annoying high-pitched buzz and their red, itchy bites, they are vectors of diseases affecting millions of people worldwide. In tropical countries where they are present all the time and are very hard to control, they cause deadly outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases. Even in temperate regions where they are mostly present during spring and summer, they still cause outbreaks affecting many. Some of the diseases that they typically carry are listed below.
Malaria is perhaps the most common disease transmitted by mosquitoes. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 alone there were 216 million cases worldwide, with 655,000 cases resulting to death. Malaria tablets and mosquito repellant are among the most advised travel precautions for tourists. Malaria is caused by parasites that infect certain mosquitoes and is passed on to humans by mosquito bites. It causes flu-like symptoms and in severe cases can cause life-threatening complications like severe anemia, acute kidney failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome and many more.
Dengue Fever (DF) and Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever (DHF) are both potentially deadly diseases transmitted by mosquitoes affecting one-third of the world’s population. DF and DHF are both major concerns in the tropics and the subtropics. The four dengue viruses are transmitted to humans by bites from infected mosquitoes. Dengue outbreaks usually occur in populated residential and urban places. Symptoms include high fever, severe pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint aches, rashes and bleeding. DHF is the severe form of DF and causes severe bleeding, circulatory system shock and death. There is no specific treatment for both diseases aside from fluid replacement therapy during the early stages of the diseases, so early detection is very crucial.
Yellow Fever is another viral disease transmitted from mosquito bites. It is so named because in its advanced stage it causes jaundice or yellow discoloration of the skin and the whites of the eyes. In its early stage, it causes flu-like symptoms of fever, chills, fatigue and vomiting. Aside from jaundice, it progresses to high fever, gastrointestinal tract bleeding, shock and death from failure of multiple organs.
Arboviral Encephalitides is a group of diseases manifesting similar symptoms cause by arthropod-borne viruses or arboviruses generally transmitted by blood-feeding arthropods and chiefly by mosquitoes. These diseases cause brain inflammation (encephalitis) and include the following specific strains: Eastern equine Encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis, West Nile Virus, St. Louis encephalitis and Western equine encephalitis. Their symptoms are headaches, fever, aseptic meningitis or encephalitis. However, the majority of human infections do not manifest any symptoms. When they progress, resulting symptoms are intractable seizures, focal paralysis, coma and then death.
Prevention of mosquito-borne diseases
Most of these diseases have no available vaccines. Preventive measures include limiting exposure to mosquito bites by applying mosquito repellant, wearing clothes that limit bites, and using bed nets and screened and air-conditioned living quarters. The most effective prevention measures are still community-based mosquito control programs. These programs target mosquito habitats and prevent young mosquitoes from developing into adult ones. Areas where mosquitoes rest, like foliage near houses and spaces that accumulate water, are also made inhospitable. They also include educating people on how to get rid of mosquito habitats areas frequented by people.
Akkad Pest Control Services
Akkad is the leading pest control services provider in the United Arab Emirates and is here to help you with mosquito control. Whether you are in Dubai or anywhere in the UAE, our team of experts will provide effective mosquito control programs suited to your needs.